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A guide to a successful NIYS experience


Membership in the NIYS is an honor and a privilege.  The young musicians chosen by audition to play in these groups are expected to make membership a first priority among their many activities.  Instrumentation and balance are established at the time of audition and must be maintained.  If the orchestra is to provide the highest possible level of performance, preparation of the music and attendance at all rehearsals and concerts for the entire season is of utmost importance.

All members will adhere to the following Code of Conduct:

  1. Attendance is required at all regular and sectional rehearsals. Students should arrive 15 minutes before rehearsal to tune and be ready to play.

    • If there is an unavoidable reason for absence, please inform your orchestra’s manager and/or conductor by phone, email or text prior to rehearsal! 

    • A maximum of two absences are allowed per trimester (3 concerts and 3 preparatory trimesters), however students may lose the privilege of playing in a concert if absent in the two weeks prior to a concert!

  2. Bring all music and a pencil to every rehearsal.

  3. Return music promptly to the Conductor or Orchestra Manager when asked to do so. If a student must leave the Orchestra, all music must be returned within 3 business days of leaving or a penalty of $20 per piece PLUS the cost of the music will be assessed.  If music is lost or damaged, student will be charged the cost of replacement.

  4. If you borrow anything, return it please.

  5. Your complete attention is required at all times.

  6. All students must respect the property and personnel at our rehearsal and concert locations

  7. We strictly prohibit the use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs. Any student in violation will be immediately removed from the orchestra.

  8. In matters of seating, the Conductor’s decision is final.

  9. Be respectful at all times of orchestra members, staff, conductors, and guests.


Musicians will be allowed (2) absences in the fall trimester, two (2) absences in the winter trimester, and two (2) absences in the spring trimester.  These may be for any reason whatsoever (ski trips, spring break, family wedding, etc.).  However, remember, the above absences only in each semester will be allowed so use them wisely.  A musician with excessive absences will be subject to re-audition, reassignment, dismissal without refund, or placed in the last chair at the Conductor’s discretion.  A calendar of rehearsals and performances will be distributed at the first rehearsal of each semester.  Attendance at dress rehearsals, fundraisers and concerts is mandatory.  The musician or a parent must inform the Orchestra Manager or Conductor at least one (1) week in advance when a rehearsal will be missed. (Sudden illness or a death in the family are exceptions.)  When the musician is expected but not present at rehearsal, the Orchestra Manager will phone his/her home from the rehearsal event. Under extenuating circumstances (other music related events, extended illnesses, etc.) absence issues or other concerns may be brought to the Conductor for a case-by-case review.


Musicians in the orchestras are expected to participate in all concerts and events. Parents are responsible for transporting students to and from concerts.  There is a final dress rehearsal before each concert.  *ALL members are required to stay and watch the other orchestra’s performance at concerts. Part of developing into a great musician is learning how to be an enthusiastic appreciator of other ensembles.


Debut String Orchestra:

  • Ladies: Black blouse, black slacks or skirt with black hose/tights, black shoes

  • Gentlemen: Black button down shirt, black slacks, black socks, black shoes

Intermezzo String Orchestra:

  • Ladies: Long-sleeved white blouse, black over-the-knee length skirt or dress slacks, neutral or black stockings and black dress shoes and subdued accessories.

  • Gentlemen: Long-sleeved white shirt, black bow tie, black dress pants, black belt OR cummerbund, black socks and black dress shoes.

Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra:

  • Ladies: Long-sleeved black dress or black over-the-knee length skirt or dress slacks, neutral or black stockings and black dress shoes and subdued accessories.

  • Gentlemen: Tuxedo (OR black dress pants and black coat), white dress shirt, black bow tie, black cummerbund, black socks and black dress shoes.

Please note:

  • No black jeans, pants with cargo pockets, casual shoes (boots, tennis shoes, Birkenstocks, flip flops, etc.), low-cut blouses, belly shirts, high slits in skirts or vests.

Do you have questions on whether specific articles of clothing are appropriate? Address all questions to your orchestra manager or conductor at least a week prior to the concert! If you arrive for a concert dressed inappropriately, you will NOT be allowed to play.


Every season NIYS issues each musician a numbered music folder.  This folder remains the property of the NIYS and must be returned following the last concert of the season.  Failure to return music and folder on time may affect orchestra placement next season and a fee will be charged to your account.  Musicians are responsible for their music folders and all music given to them throughout the season.  The following fees will be incurred for loss or damage:
$10 fee per item if an original piece is lost, damaged or handed in late, PLUS replacement cost of piece
$20 fee for loss or damage to music folder
These fees will also be incurred if the folder is not given back to the NIYS within five (5) business days following the last concert.


The NIYS expects all its members to participate in their school music program, in some capacity, and strongly encourages youth to study privately. There is a petition process through the Board and Conductors. Please contact your student’s Orchestra Manager for a form. The petition process includes documentation of all avenues of recourse that have been pursued to facilitate participation in the student’s school music program. This documentation is required prior to a waiver being approved. The NIYS Board and conductor’s decision is final.
The NIYS believes its success depends on families remaining committed to the musical education of their children. We recognize and value the vital role played by music educators, both private and public, in the training of our musicians. NIYS Orchestras, school music programs and private teachers share the common goal of training the next generation of musicians, audience members and arts supporters.


Verbal announcements are made in each group during rehearsals. The weekly announcements will also be available on the Remind App. 

Orchestra conductors/managers will use e-mail to communicate information to parents and musicians in their groups. Please make sure we have your current e-mail address and keep us informed of any changes.

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